Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is likely to come out with a fresh recommendation on blocking the lost and stolen mobile phones. The telecom regulatory body announcing the news provide some relief to the users fearing misuse of their devices and data stored in either of the cases. This move may act as a blockade for the increasing cases of mobile theft and illegal handset market in the country.
According to an official spokesperson, "... It (recommendations) was likely to come by the end of this month, but we have come across some problems with regard to duplicate International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers in mobile handsets available in the market, which is difficult to track. We are discussing it internally... it will take time, maybe by the end of this year."
If a person lost his mobile phone or stolen, the present mechanism in our country just allows to block SIM card alone, but not the mobile phone. Apparently, the user cannot recover the stored data in the mobile phone. However, Smartphones if properly managed can help the user to an extent in sweeping the data in a lost mobile phone. Also, it may help you in identifying the device location with the help of global positioning system. Every mobile phone comes with an IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity), which is a unique serial number. This will be stored in the equipment identity register (EIR) database of the service provider. Several European nations will follow this database and counter create a blacklist for the stolen or lost mobile phones.
Earlier, in 2004 TRAI proposed a consultation paper in this regard. However, at that time, many service providers are not equipped to track or block IMEI. Now, the situation has changed as the telecom department have asked the network providers to discontinue mobile phones without IMEI numbers. The operators suggested TRAI to create a central database of IMEI numbers for the lost or stolen handsets which could be shared with all the providers. Also, they have proposed to bring a legislation to prevent cloning of IMEI numbers so that the stolen phones are not re-programmed with duplicate IMEI numbers of existing subscribers without their knowledge. All these changes are pending by the month of December, 2011.